Lingerie-- the word suggests lacey, titillating garments. But lingerie came from humble origins. The term "lingerie" is from the French linge, or linen alluding to the cloth from which underwear was by tradition made.
By the end of the nineteenth century, lingerie had become a common term to describe underwear that had moved beyond sensible functions to be used as a device of for the exhibit of the female body. Lingerie was initially made for every size- including plus sizes. Lingerie was supposed to only be used by women within the confines of a blissfully married life in the early years; with strict controls. One female journalist penned in 1902, "Lovely lingerie does not belong only to the fast. .
. . dainty undergarments are not necessarily a sign of depravity." As time passed, lingerie's attractiveness to the general population increased along with decreasing adherence to Victorian morality, and the increasing social status of women. Lingerie was freedom from the practical and flagrantly straitlaced undergarments advocated by the Victorian era.
For example, a doctor of that time period recommended wool as the perfect underwear for sanitation and wellbeing. At first, lingerie was a sign of social status , handmade and afforded only by the very few. Of note were those fashioned by the English couturiere known as Lucile (Lady Duff-Gordon), who created camisoles, peignoirs, and petticoats using lace, chiffon, and crepe de chine, deliberately appealing to the sense of touch, and evoking a new eroticism for the twentieth-century woman. Although synthetic fibers such as rayon and nylon were developed and sold in the 1920s and 1930s as luxury fabrics through the use of the name "artificial silk" their development led to a democratization of lingerie. WIKIPEDIA SAYS-Rayon is a very versatile fiber and has the same comfort properties as natural fibers. It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton and linen.
The fibers are easily dyed in a wide range of colors. Rayon fabrics are soft, smooth, cool, comfortable, and highly absorbent, but they do not insulate body heat, making them ideal for use in hot and humid climates. The more body-conscious fashions of that decade also led to a new item of lingerie, the teddy, named after its inventor Theodore Baer, who combined a chemise with a short slip or attached panties. The camisole, originally derived from a decorative waist-length garment with an embroidered front and shoulder bands that were worn over the corset for warmth and modesty, became a essential piece of lingerie, later transforming into an item of outerwear by the 1970s. Similarly the slip, a standard piece of lingerie from the 1950s was used by a number of fashion designers as outerwear in the 1990s, most notably John Galliano, Dolce & Gabbana.
Pajamas, based on the loose pants worn in parts of Asia, entered women's wardrobes in the late nineteenth century, but long nightdresses remained popular, even after women's skirts shortened in the early twentieth century. By the1920s, straight-cut silk and rayon nightclothes in subtle colors such as orchid, teal and plum were popular, while the mid-century favored gowns with bosom-hugging bodices above sinuous skirts. Mixtures and superimpositions make lingerie an item of clothing in itself, so that hybrid costumes like chemise jackets and pants-skirts make up an unexpected wardrobe. During the twentieth century, alluring and luxurious lingerie grew ever more accessible and affordable. Today there is a continuation of the lingerie revival started in the 1990s, attracting both male and female consumers. Lingerie's cachet as an erotic, ardently visible component of a woman's outfit has contributed to rising sales.
It seems that showing off your lingerie has become very much become a fashion trend. Today redefined lingerie is an affordable luxury item with a strong appeal for the fashion-oriented plus size consumer.
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